Categories

Awards of Excellence Categories

The National Awards are divided into three sub-categories: Communications Programs, which comprise numerous smaller projects, Communications Projects, which support an overall campaign or program and special awards which recognize organizational excellence.

Each sub-category contains several individual award categories, of which a campaign may be entered into a maximum of four.

While submitting a program or project* for consideration, you’ll also have the opportunity to compete for our top honour: Best in Show. Our most coveted prize, this award will go to the year’s best submission, regardless of category, which has demonstrated outstanding creativity, strategic planning and overall excellence in public relations and communications management. Please note, entering will not count towards the four category maximum; however, each submission will incur an additional fee of $100 CAD.

ENTER THIS YEAR'S COMPETITION HERE


* Organizational Excellence sub-category is not eligible for Campaign of the Year.

Communications Programs

This category celebrates excellence in media relations on a limited budget. For consideration, media relations programs should exhibit improvement of an organization’s media profile measured against desired objectives, the adept management of issues involving media coverage, or the development of a successful media relations campaign. Eligible campaigns must have a total spend of under $10,000 CAD.
 
This category celebrates excellence in media relations on a moderate budget. For consideration, media relations programs should exhibit an improvement of an organization’s media profile measured against desired objectives, the adept management of issues involving media coverage, or the development of a successful media relations campaign. Eligible campaigns must have a total spend of between $10,000 and $50,000 CAD.
 
This category celebrates excellence in media relations on a large budget. For consideration, media relations programs should exhibit an improvement of an organization’s media profile measured against desired objectives, the adept management of issues involving media coverage, or the development of a successful media relations campaign. Eligible campaigns must have a total spend of more than $50,000 CAD.
 
This category celebrates programs focused on internal audiences. Winners will have improved the relationships between employees and management by providing a better understanding of the organization's strategic plan and the importance of their role therein, or both! Submitted programs may also be aimed at rallying personnel around the strategic planning or improving employee/management morale, motivation and interest towards the organization.
Campaigns submitted to this category should demonstrate the use of cross-channel integration, e.g. digital, traditional and/or social media, to achieve an organization’s communications objectives. Submissions should include a rationale for the channels used, targeted audiences and statistics or other means of quantifiable measurement that meet the stated objectives.
This category celebrates community programs (e.g. philanthropy, volunteerism, partnerships) that have enabled an organization to build and maintain positive and sustainable relationships with key individuals, groups or organizations within its communities.
 
To qualify in this category, submissions must feature programs targeted at government agencies or similar bodies, or programs demonstrating the effective use of public affairs to change the opinion and/or enlist the help of the public to influence government policy or regulations.
This category seeks to recognize advocacy-based communication programs that focus on sustainable development and increasing awareness of economic, social and environmental issues. Qualifying entries may include programs where the primary objective was to address and enhance the long-term well-being of specific communities or the environment.
Communication programs submitted to this category should demonstrate proactive planning and effective strategies to predict and manage trends, issues and attitudes of special interest groups and/or mitigate the harmful impact of emergency situations on an organization’s ongoing operation.
In complex health care environments, effective communications initiatives can impact patient safety, quality of care and patient satisfaction. This award recognizes excellence in health communications, public relations and engagement. To be deemed eligible, the campaign must demonstrate a connection to a health care issue or communications need.
This award celebrates outstanding achievement in Canadian digital communications. Winners will have created cutting edge digital communications programs that successfully connect with their target audiences to engage communities, launch or raise awareness of products, or manage issues or crises.
This award recognizes the close connection between the various fields beneath the marketing umbrella. Winners of this award will have integrated public relations, marketing and advertising strategies to help market brands, products, services or places to external audiences.
This category recognizes communications programs relating to the unique challenges of the non-profit / NGO sector and / or a specific goal therein.
 
This category recognizes outstanding communications campaigns that rely on influencers to impact the public’s awareness, attitudes, opinions and/or behaviour. Submissions should both outline the methods used to attract influencers and get them to share their experiences with your brand with followers, and explain in detail how this tactic directly advanced the campaign’s objectives.
Winners in this category will have created communications programs that include brand development, re-positioning, or re-branding of an established brand (either a product, service, or corporation) through the use of strategic public relations.
This category recognizes outstanding campaigns specifically designed to support and promote the launch of a new product or service. Submissions should include an overview of how this campaign generated awareness and product/service recognition through the use of strategic public relations planning and execution.
Campaigns submitted in this category must demonstrate the effective use of strategic communications to affect a measurable improvement in trust between an organization and the public. Campaigns should be measured with a legitimate reputation management survey and include baseline and post-campaign results.

Communications Projects

This category celebrates excellence in the art of publication. Both internal and external pieces may be submitted for consideration, so long as they are relatively low cost and primarily text. Regardless of its intended audience, judges will look for clear, concise and imaginative writing, paired with effective use of graphics and that the piece demonstrates high editorial standards and overall creativity.
This category recognizes effective and creative planning and execution of events supporting a public relations campaign.
This category celebrates communications projects using a range of multimedia tactics to achieve an organization’s communication objectives, including but not limited to video and audio recordings, video news releases, podcasting, digital media, or computer-generated slide presentations developed for internal or external target audiences.
 
In partnership with Leger, this award is for significant, formal, original research that advances the public relations and communications management profession in Canada. Students are encouraged to submit capstone papers and theses.  Academic researchers / professors are encouraged to submit research they have submitted for publication or plan to submit. Regardless, to be eligible, applicants must be affiliated with a Canadian academic institution and submissions must have been completed between January 2018 and January 2020.

Judging will be based on the significance of the research to the profession, quality of method, and quality of submission. Entries must be no more than three pages in length and must include an abstract, background, detailed method, results and a discussion of how it advances the profession across the country.  

Organizational Excellence 

Entries must relate to initiatives that have been carried out by an in-house team in the two years prior to the regular Award submission deadline for the current year.
Your submission should consist of no more than 1,000 words and provide an overview of the following criteria:
  • The number of employees in your public relations and communications management team as well as annual budget;
  • A short overview of business / team strategy;
  • A description of your team’s commitment to ethical communications and professionalism;
  • A highlight of your recent achievements;
  • A summary of a campaign you’re particularly proud that followed the R-A-C-E formula to achieve measurable results.
Entries must relate to initiatives that have been carried out by a communications agency in the two years prior to the regular Award submission deadline for the current year.
Your submission should consist of no more than 1,000 words and provide an overview of the following criteria:
  • The number of employees in your public relations and communications management team as well as annual budget;
  • A short overview of business / team strategy;
  • A description of your team’s commitment to ethical communications and professionalism;
  • A highlight of your recent achievements;
  • A summary of a campaign you’re particularly proud that followed the R-A-C-E formula to achieve measurable results.